"The Babylon Project was our last, best hope for peace. A self-contained world five miles long, located in neutral territory. A place of commerce and diplomacy for a quarter of a million humans and aliens. A shining beacon in space, all alone in the night. It was the dawn of the Third Age of Mankind...the year the Great War came upon us all. This is the story of the last of the Babylon stations. The year is 2259. The name of the place is Babylon 5." - Captain John Sheridan
The Second season brought some big changes, biggest of course was a new commander of Babylon 5, Captain John J. Sheridan. Former Captain of the Agamemnon, was responsible for the only real victory against the Minbari during the war by destroying the Black Star. Apparently it was late president Santiago’s wish to have Sheridan be the next commander of Babylon 5.
The first season ends in turmoil, Sinclair is worried saying: nothing’s the same anymore. Few days later he has been recalled to earth and he becomes the new ambassador on Minbar. Sheridan comes in when the Shadows are emerging more and more out of the ….shadows, pun intended! 😊
The Minbari aren’t happy with Sheridan’s appointment as Captain of Babylon 5 because they are still angry with him and call him the star killer, because he destroyed the Black Star. The Trigati, a Minbari war cruiser enters Babylon 5 space and try to provoke Sheridan into another war. The Trigati crew did not agree with the surrender of Minbari at the end of the war and therefore they decided not to return home but to roam through the vastness of space.
It was a great opening of the 2nd season, thing is, it wasn’t a really big opening, not all guns blazing but it was a good set-up for the second season. The first season ended on a high note. I remember being happy about the fact that Bruce Boxteitner was the new Captain of the station but I also had mixed feelings about the departure of Michael O’hare’s Jeffrey Sinclair. When I first started watching Babylon 5 I really had to get used to the character Sinclair, the actor O’Hare. But that changed in the course of the first season, at the end of the first season, didn’t have any problems with him anymore, in fact, I respected the commander for how he handled himself during multiple incidents.
In the beginning of the season we get more and more info about these Shadows, most episodes give titbits of information about them, all vague of course. G’Kar is warning everybody about an ancient race, he sends a ship to Za’ha’dum to find proof but Londo tells Mr. Morden and so the Narn ship is being destroyed. Meanwhile Garibaldi wakes up with the help of the healing device used in episode “Quality of Mercy”. With Talia he finds out who shot him and he has trust issues because his 2nd in command was the shooter, who had the same greeting as Bester: be seeing you. Delenn comes out her cocoon as a Minbari/Human hibrate as an attempt to build a bridge between both races. Sheridan’s sister visits the station and lets her brother know that he shouldn’t feel guilty over his wife death, because, if he wouldn’t have cancelled their get together, she would have, because she was asked to join the Icarus, to explore an ancient world.
The Techno mages arrive at the station, like G’Kar, they also warn about a coming storm, a black and terrible storm, they decide to go in hiding until the storm has passed. “Geometry of Shadows” is the first episode were we meet Lord Refa. An old buddy of Sheridan, Maynard, visits the station with his Explorer-class ship EAS Cortez and makes Sheridan uneasy about his new position as a politician instead of a ship’s Captain. Ivanova needs to set him straight. Maynard is the next one to tell Sheridan he has seen things on the Rim. Lt. Keffer sees an actual Shadow vessel!
Amis (Dwight Schulz, Star Trek TNG/ The A-Team) is on the station is in connection with an alien whom he came in contact with during the Minbari war. Apparently there were plans to bring Schulz’ character Amis back for more stories but it didn’t work out. Episode “Spider in the Web” where a bureau 13 is mentioned, it’s definitely something to do with Psi-corps but after this episode we never hear anything about bureau 13 anymore. In “Soulmates” Londo gets to divorce from his 3 wives because at that point he is a rising star, because of his association with Mr. Morden. He decides to stay married to one of them, the one from he knows never lies to him.
Episode 2x08 “A Race Through Dark Places” is an interesting one, Bester visits the station and we see what Talia is capable of, she appears to be able to block even Bester because of the “gift” Lionheart (Mindwar, season one) gave her. Franklin turns out to be the underground railroad handler on B5. When Sheridan finds out he is outraged, mainly because he was kept out of the loop.
The best episode of the first 10 episodes is definitely 2x09 The Coming of Shadows, while Londo is busy making war via his association with Mr. Morden, the Emperor of Centauri is coming to Babylon 5 and he has a different view, he no longer wants war, the reason he comes to B5 is to tell that. G’Kar is furious that the Emperor is coming to Babylon 5 but Sheridan thinks this is a perfect opportunity for G’Kar to talk to the man. G’Kar however has other plans, he wants to sacrifice himself by killing the Emperor. However before the Emperor can say what he came for, he collapses, hence G’kar misses the opportunity to kill him, which also makes him furious, he dare he collapse before….
When G’Kar finds out the real reason the Emperor came to Babylon 5 and believes there is still hope and buys Londo a drink. Londo however just has helped make sure the war continues by destroying the biggest Narn outpost on the border of Centauri. Delenn and Garibaldi both get a message from a dear old friend: Sinclair.
In “Gropos” we meet dr. Franklin’s father, a general in the army. In “All Alone in the Night”, Sheridan is being kidnapped by the Streib just as general Hague is coming to Babylon 5 to meet with Sheridan. Sheridan has been keeping an eye on his co-workers to see if they were loyal to Clark or loyal to the people. Delenn is no longer a member of the Grey Council, because decision to become a hybrid without consulting the Grey Council. Neroon replaces her, a member of the warrior cast. Delenn loses all respect from most of her fellow Minbari, especially those from the warrior cast.
“Acts of Sacrifice” is a marvelous episode, so much happens, humor, despair, hopelessness. G’Kar tries to get the humans and the Minbari to help them against the Centauri but they only can help in small ways, it has to be in secret so G’Kar cannot make this public. Londo has made so many enemies because his campaign against the Narn, he desperately needs a friend, he says himself he only has one on the station, Garibaldi. Ivanova has to convince the Lumati to sign up as an ally against the Shadows, at any means…however SEX is not one of them, at least according to herself and is very creative in avoiding that!
In “Hunter, Prey” the B5 crew need to protect the former presidents personal doctor, because he knows the true reason why Clarke got of Earth Force 1 a day before it exploded. Kosh helps out, we get confirmed what we already thought, Kosh’s ship is alive! In “There all the Honor lies” the Minbari again try to frame Sheridan because they still think it is a disgrace that the Starkiller is Captain of B5. Kosh has a perfect moment of beauty for Sheridan, Vir is told he has to leave because his post has become too important now and Vir is considered a joke.
“And now For a Word” is also a favorite of mine, where ISN arrives on the station to make a documentary about Babylon 5. “In The Shadow of Zha’ha’dum Sheridan discovers that Mr. Morden has a connection to his late wife Anna! Apparently they both served on the Icarus. Somehow Anna and the other co-workers never returned but Mr. Morden somehow did. Sheridan goes far to coerce Mr. Morden to tell him what happened, what happened to the other personnel. He goes so far that Garibaldi resigns. I like that hard-ass Sheridan, although at some point it does get a bit uncomfortable but I think that is it is intended by the creator. And the Nightwatch is formed, a new agency on Earth, trying to recruit B5 personnel. In “Knives” Londo loses a dear friend Urza Jaddo (Carmen Argenziano, Stargate-Sg1, Sam’s dad) because he learns that Londo has good relations with Lord Refa. In a dual Londo kills Urza, which means Londo vouched for Urza’s family for always.
Episode 2x18 “Confessions and Lamentations” is a very emotional story about a race, the Markab, who contracted a virus which goes very fast among the Markab population and is always fatal. Dr. Franklin tries to find a cure desperately and Delenn and Lennier try to comfort them by being there for them in their final hours.
Lyta returns to Babylon 5 in “Divided Loyalties” to tell that there is a traitor, possibly among the command staff of Babylon 5. Before she arrives the command staff is debating if they should invite Talia Winters to their inner circle. Susan Ivanova tells Sheridan something she never told anyone before, she is a latent telepath. If the Psi corps knew, she would be removed from her post.
Perhaps the best episode of the season for me is “The Long Twilight Struggle”. The Centauri learn of a plan from the Narn that they are going to attack Gorash 7. Refa wants Londo to send his associates to Gorash 7 so that the Centauri ships can move to the Narn homeworld and bomb them to extinction with planet bombers, which have been outlawed. Londo is objecting to this plan but Lord Refa convinces him. G’Kar asks sanctuary on Babylon 5. Sheridan and Delenn are being invited to the planet below where Draal announces that he will be an ally to them. An A+ episode!
In “Comes the Inquisitor” we find out how long the Vorlons already have visited our planet. They send an associate of theirs from the 19th century to find out if Delenn, but also Sheridan, are the right people for the job for the fight against the Shadows.
The Season finale “The Fall of Night” is like “The Long Twilight Struggle” one the best episode of the season. A Narn cruiser seeks asylum, they manage to enter B5 space unnoticed. Frederick Lantz is there to sign a non-aggression pact with the Centauri, but Sheridan and the others of the command staff are not expecting this. Mr. Welles of the Ministry of Peace tries to convince Ivanova to join them. He refers to the newly formed "Ministry of Peace" or "MiniPax, as we call it around the office". This serves both as foreshadowing what is to come and as a nod at George Orwell's dystopian story 1984 where the main character, Winston Smith, was a worker at the Ministry of Records, or MiniRec. (very poignant considering what is currently happening in the real world!) In the finale moments of the episode we see Kosh reveal himself at the urging of Delenn to save Sheridan. Everyone sees someone from their own beliefs, except for Londo…
Season two is a fantastic season, slowly building up the Shadow arc, Shadows slowly show themselves more and more. Reports of seeing them, more incidents and of course the association with Londo. The political arc is also being hinted at, that there is a change coming, ministry of peace is an example of that of course. In season two you realize that a lot of fantastic stuff is happening but that even more fantastic stuff is on the horizon with the next seasons! I will never get enough of Babylon 5! Just writing this down makes me wanna start all over again watching it!
Screencaps - cap-that.com